Forest Pathology (2017) 47 (1 - e12324)
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Elm yellows: A phytoplasma disease of concern in forest and landscape ecosystems
Forest Pathology 47 (1 - e12324)
Abstract: Elm yellows (EY) is a lethal or decline phytoplasma disease that affects several Ulmus (elm) species and hybrids, which is widespread in North America and Europe. The symptoms vary among the elm species. In those native to North America, main symptoms include epinasty, chlorosis, premature casting of the leaves, yellow to brown discoloration of the phloem in the roots and stem and tree death that usually occurs within 1 or 2 years from the appearance of foliar symptoms. In contrast, affected trees of European and Asian species are primarily characterized by witches' broom as a specific symptom, do not show phloem discoloration and are less prone to decline. The disease is caused by a relatively genetically homogeneous phytoplasma, the EY agent "Candidatus Phytoplasma ulmi," a member of the EY phytoplasma group or 16SrV group, subgroup 16SrV-A. In nature, this pathogen exhibits a high plant host specificity. The elm leafhopper Scaphoideus luteolus is the only confirmed vector of EY phytoplasma in North America, whereas Macropsis mendax has been reported as a natural vector in Northern Italy. However, other insect vectors are likely to be involved in its natural spread. Phytoplasmas of other taxonomic groups or 16SrV subgroups, which are known to infect a wide range of plant hosts, have been identified in naturally infected elm trees. However, the pathological relevance of these "non-elm" phytoplasmas needs to be confirmed in many cases. Their detection is mainly based on the highly sensitive nested PCR assays, while pathological data are lacking. This study summarizes, within the framework of a single comprehensive review, the current knowledge of EY. Gaps in knowledge of this disease and prospects for future research are also critically discussed.
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Database assignments for author(s): Carmine Marcone
Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
Pest and/or beneficial records:
|Phytoplasma ulmi||Elm (Ulmus)|
|Scaphoideus luteolus||Elm (Ulmus)|